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Posted by on Sep 2, 2011 | 17 comments

Papillon Photos: Pudong, Shanghai

Today is that day of the week when I share astounding pictures from different corners of the world.

And, I don’t know.  I felt like posting something vibrant, futuristic, colorful and mesmerizing.  I searched and searched thru my computer files until I arrived to the correct folder.  Ladies and gentlemen (peal of drums), I present you the biggest city in China, SHANGHAI!!!

Well, not just Shanghai but its famous Pudong district.  Here is where finance, trade and commerce coincide.  The place where the Stock Exchange inhabits.  The area where the buildings forming the famous skyline stand tall and proud. 

I am sure you recognize this skyline (don’t this picture make you smile?).

Pudong's Skyline


Pudong gets its name from its location with respect to the Huangpu River.  It is located at the east bank of the body of water.  The contrast between old barges navigating in front of ultra modern buildings shows the extremes one still encounters in China.

View of Huangpu with Pudong on the left bank


Closeup of Pudong's futuristic skyline


Big barge passing in front of Pudong's skyline


There are many stars in the Pudong skyline.  Probably, the biggest start is the Oriental Pearl Tower.  It is a TV tower which broadcasts different programs. Some say its design was taken from a Tang Dynasty poem referring to an instrument which sounds is “like pearls, big and small falling in a jade plate”.  To me, it just looks like the perfect space ship that would take humans to cross the vast space.

Oriental Pearl Tower


The Oriental Pearl Tower may be famous but there are two other buildings that can be considered stars too.  I am referring to the Jin Mao and Shanghai World Financial Center Buildings.  The Jin Mao (Golden Prosperity) Building contains offices and the Grand Hyatt hotel.  The Shanghai World Financial Center is the tallest building in China (excluding Taiwan).  It contains a mix of offices, conference rooms, shopping malls and more.  The two of them are amazing architectural gems.

Jinmao and World Financial Center Buildings


There are other buildings in Pudong that are not as famous as the ones mentioned.  However, they contribute to futuristic look of the area. But, hold on.  The Shanghai Tower is under construction at this precise moment.  This building is expected to be taller than the World Finance Center.  More modernism to the area is arriving at the speed of light.

Modern Building


The Shanghai World Financial Center contains the tallest observation deck in the world.  I thought the observation deck in the new Burj Khalifa topped the one in this building.  According to different sources, the one in Shanghai continues to be the tallest one in the world.

And like you can imagine, I ascended to the observation deck.  I kind of freaked out since I am a little bit scared of heights (what I am not scared off anyway?).  This observatory was intense because the floor is made of glass and you can see the cars below from the top.  I had to auto motivate me to come out of the elevator.

Observatory on Shanghai World Financial Center


However, as scared as I was, it felt great to take a look at the massiveness of Shanghai from the top.  I had a good view of the top of the Jin Mao Building. 

The top of the Jinmao building seen from the World Financial Center building


Then, I was able to admire the entire city.  What a sight!! It expanded beyond what the eyes can see.

Massive Shanghai seen from the top

In my opinion, Shanghai is a city that deserves an in depth visit.  I had the blessing of visiting for 10 days.  It was my first taste of the Far East and it did not disappoint.  It felt so good to discover the different layers of the city (felt like peeling an onion) neighborhood by neighborhood, street by street, restaurant by restaurant and market by market.  Pudong is definitely one of the must visit areas in the city.

Have you visited Pudong?  What is your favorite building?


  1. The Pudong district is so much fun – love the buildings! We only went up in the Pearl Tower, and the views there were a bit too high for my liking. BUT half the fun of visiting Pudong is taking the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel over there – it’s so ridiculous.
    Ashley recently posted..Jumping at White Sands National MonumentMy Profile

    • I like what I call cities with attitude. For example, colonial cities or cities surrounded by nature. Shanghai is not really colonial (except for the French area) or surrounded by nature but it has something that makes you feel attracted. I am not sure if I felt like that because it was my first visit to China but I had a blast there.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos: Pudong, ShanghaiMy Profile

    • Ha, ha, a handle! I heard the building is owned by a Japanese company. They wanted to have a circle not a handle (or trapezoid) at the top of the building. Chinese started to comply because the circle resembled the one in Japan’s flag. After a lot of controversy, they use the trapezoid design. I guess it also looks like a bottle opener.

  2. What an incredible view from the World Financial Center building!

    I am in China right now, but unfortunately I’m probably not going to make it to Shanghai as I only have 1 month here now. I will surely return to China (hopefully for more like a year) to be able to see much more of the country.
    Mark Wiens recently posted..33 Cups for a Buck: Drinking Street Coffee in Dar Es Salaam, TanzaniaMy Profile

  3. This is sooo amazing. I’m really sorry I couldn’t make it this year as planned, but all these wonders will, hopefully, be a round for a bit longer.
    inka recently posted..Vienna 2012 and Gustav KlimtMy Profile

    • Inka,
      Don’t worry. You will have time to visit and marvel at all the cool buildings. Like I said, they are constructing the Shanghai Tower which is going to change the skyline once it is finished. Plus when I went, the World Expo area wasn’t finished. If you visit, you can have the opportunity to go there and experience the latest buildings and architecture.
      Ruth recently posted..Papillon Photos: Pudong, ShanghaiMy Profile

  4. Ruth, seems like you got some amazing pictures of Pudong. When I was there last year, the skies were terrible! I had to go there in the night to take pictures 🙂
    David @ MalaysiaAsia recently posted..Borneo Bird Festival 2011 SabahMy Profile


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